The short and the short of it: The bright lights and dedication of Mr #Christmas

(image via Indiewire (c) Nick Palmer)

An offbeat, touching portrait by director/editor/producer Nick Palmer of a man who has spent three decades turning his small Northern California home into a beautiful, towering Christmas display people travel across the country to see. (synopsis courtesy Vimeo)

As someone who adores, lives and breathes Christmas – now, I think about it further, that could involve a lot of tinsel inhaling and you have to wonder just how good that is for anyone? – I can well understand why Bruce Mertz aka the titular Mr Christmas has spent so many time and energy (quite literally) turning his home into a well-lit Christmas wonderland for 31 years.

Kicking off at the end of August, he adds something extra to the house every day until by the time he hits the “on” switch, he has 51,000 lights ready to create a spectacular display that attracts people for miles.

You can understand why – it’s not just the lights that are attractive, it’s the lovely sense of community engendered when people who might never otherwise have contact with each other in the most wonderful and magical of circumstances.

A similar thing used to happen at a house near where my partner once lived in Sydney; the then-owner – sadly he grew too old and his house is lit no more – decorated very much like Mr Christmas and the sense of infectious joy around his place in December was palpable every year.

This documentary simply but beautifully why all that decorating means so much to Mr Christmas, who is quite the character (witness the light pulsating jacket) but acts from some pretty powerfully personal motivations, but to all the people for whom his house is a highlight of the most wonderful time of the year.

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